Commissioner Jerry Libbin will place an item on the next City Commission consent agenda to permit the Commission to deliberate further on cuts that can be made from the budget that was just approved in order to provide tax relief to our residents.
Commissioner Libbin said, “I was disappointed that my fellow Commissioners who voted against the millage increase and the 2010-1011 budget, failed to make specific suggestions on what they would like to cut from the proposed budget.” The Commission had many months to deliberate over how to cut the budget to balance it, and after voting in July to approve 4 out of 5 Union contracts, which do not permit layoffs or further salary cuts, it was disingenuous to vote against the millage increase without making specific recommendations on where to find the $10,000,000 still needed to balance the budget. Although we have now approved the budget and a millage increase, Commissioners now have the time to continue to direct the City Administration on cuts that we want, and my proposal is that the Commission direct the Administration to send a refund check to every tax payer in the City before the end of the fiscal year based upon the revenue that the Commissioners agree to find through cuts said Libbin.
City Attorney Jose Smith said that this would be possible and is legal so long as the funds that are returned to tax payers are not generated from ad valorem taxes or from resort taxes. This means that all other funds in the General fund are available if the political will is there to make tough decisions by the Commissioners.
I look forward to fruitful discussions with my fellow Commissioners, all of whom should be excited to now have additional time to find ways to send our taxpayers back some of their money.